At Holland Hospital, your comprehensive treatment program will be customized to take into account the kind of cancer you have, the stage of the cancer's growth, its location, your overall health and your personal preferences.
The most common and effective treatments for cancer include:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy: Certain drugs that attack specific abnormalities within cancer cells
- Biologic therapy: Substances made by the body or made in a laboratory are used to boost, direct or restore the body's natural defenses against cancer or to specifically shut down its division. This treatment uses knowledge specific to each cancer to eliminate it.
No alternative medicines have been discovered which help treat cancer. But complementary and alternative therapies may help you manage the most common side effects of cancer treatment, especially fatigue. These therapies include gentle exercise, stress management and other relaxation strategies.
If routine exams or tests ever suggest the possibility of a recurrence of your cancer, imaging tests such as X-ray, computed tomography (CT or CAT scan), positron emission tomography (PET scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan), bone scan and/or biopsy may be ordered.
If your cancer does recur, your treatment will depend on the location of the cancer and what treatments you've had previously. Options may include surgery, radiation therapy, biologic therapy, chemotherapy, drug therapy or some combination of these.
Patients take part in clinical trials for many reasons. Usually, they hope for personal benefits such as a cure for the disease, increased survival, or a way to feel better. Often they want to contribute to a research effort that may help others. The patients in clinical trials are among the first to receive new research treatments before they are widely available.
Before a patient can be included in a clinical trial, researchers must obtain informed consent from the patient or the patient's legally authorized representative. All patients receive information regarding the purpose of the trial, the possible side effects, and the possible benefits of the new treatment before agreeing to participate.